AFR 367
Black Metropolis: Race and the Twentieth-Century City Fall 2017 Division II; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as HIST368 / AFR367
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This course will investigate the major themes of African-American urban history in the twentieth century. We will address why, how, and when black people migrated to cities, and the structural mechanisms that channeled them into segregated neighborhoods and jobs, even as these changed over time. We will also focus on their experiences along what St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton identified as the “axes of life”: staying alive, having fun, serving God, getting ahead, and advancing the race. How did black people express themselves and build communities for survival, pleasure and profit? During the second half of the course, we will examine struggles for civil rights and Black Power, as well as the centripetal decomposition of many cities into sprawling metropolises. Throughout the course, contemporary historical writing will be read against the sociological works that pioneered the study of black urban life to see how historians have engaged and transformed their predecessors’ questions and methods.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 2101
Requirements/Evaluation: Coursework to be evaluated includes informal writing and class participation, two papers, and an oral presentation
Extra Info: not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Junior and Senior History Majors and Africana Studies Concentrators
Distributions: Division II; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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